South Shields Women were left stunned on Sunday by an incisive Wakefield side, as the lasses fell short 4-2 at Downhill Hub.
Eve Gatens managed a clean volley early on but Wakefield flipped the scoreline soon after, before adding a third just before the break.
It took a second-half penalty for the visitors in order to transform Shields’ fortunes on the pitch - Erin Taylor grabbed one but Gatens had her penalty afterwards saved and this period of withstood pressure wasn’t enough to steal an improbable result.
Matt Gatiss made two changes from last week’s line-up against Barnsley, with Alliyah Ali and Josie Foster starting, while Meg Archbold and Ellie White made the bench.
Both teams started brightly but Shields managed to get on the scoresheet first. Sophie Greener pinged a through ball into Gatens’ path and her first-time volley rocketed into the bottom corner.
The Mariners almost capitalised straight after when Legg picked up the pieces from a Wakefield miss-kick but Gatens’ final touch was a little too heavy to carry enough momentum.
She continued with a pulsing surge down the right-flank before launching the ball at Greener in the six-yard box. It might have gone in if it wasn’t for the Wakefield keeper getting a hand to it.
The visitors’ equaliser took Shields by surprise. Olivia Auker dribbled past a collection of Shields players and impressively laid it off to Rachael White who made no mistake when she slotted it past Mariners keeper Scarlett Gowans.
Five minutes later Wakefield bagged another, this time through a free-kick and it was an uphill struggle from there.
They netted their third minutes before the interval when Harriet Lloyd handed the ball over to Zoe Laughton to hit it in.
The half-time break was sorely needed for Shields and they came out fighting in the second half.
Things would get worse before they would improve, however. Foster managed to pull Lloyd down in the box and Wakefield converted their resultant penalty.
Jen Wootten and Taylor combined nicely to grab one bag for Shields, but Gatens was unable to convert a penalty handed a minute later.
The lasses continued to knock at the door for more opportunities but none came to fruition.
With no fixtures for the girls next week, all attention now sharply turns to the Redcar Town Ladies match on Sunday, 18th February. More details will be shared closer to the time.
South Shields Women: Gowans, Ali (Emery 69'), May, Greener (Wootten 51'), Legg, Gatens, Wootten (Longstaff 8'), McMahon, Norton, Elliott-Wood, Foster.
Substitutes: Archbold, Emery, Longstaff (Taylor 66'), Taylor.
Wakefield AFC Women: Noka, Shepherd, Blythe, Sales, Long, Godson, Laughton, White, Thomas, Auker, Lloyd.